Elvis Star Eyed To Play The Sting Role In Dune Part 2, Which Makes A Weird Kind Of Sense

Just a day after reports surfaced that Florence Pugh may be joining "Dune Part Two," another major bit of casting news has arrived. According to Deadline, "Elvis" actor Austin Butler is in talks to take on the role of Feyd-Rautha in the highly anticipated, Denis Villeneuve-directed sequel.

Fans of "Dune" may remember this as the role embodied by Sting in David Lynch's 1984 "Dune" — emphasis on the "bodied." The character, who was often seen sporting little more than a codpiece, is a nephew of Baron Harkonnen (played by Stellan Skarsgard in the new iteration) and a major villain in the original Frank Herbert novel. The character is cruel and threatening, but more subtly so than his older brother Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista in the 2021 version).

Is Dune going the sexy villain route?

This is also the role that fans (and our own writers) speculated Barry Keoghan may be taking on in the sequel after he tweeted cryptically right after the second film's announcement last year. Keoghan seems pretty busy right now, as he pops up in a minor role in Matt Reeves' "The Batman" that may or may not prove pivotal to that franchise. Keoghan would have been great as the malevolent, unhinged character, but hopefully, his coy winking emoji means he'll still have a part to play in the sequel.

Butler, meanwhile, could turn the character on its head by bringing a contrasting heartthrob component to his maliciousness. The actor is most-known for playing Tex in "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" and nabbing the role of Elvis in Baz Luhrmann's glitzy-looking biopic of the same name. Fans of a certain age, though, will know that Butler's been breaking hearts on screen for even longer, as he was a frequent love interest of choice on the Nickelodeon and Disney Channel circuit in the early days of his career.

Feyd-Rautha, though, isn't very lovable. As Villeneuve's vision of the story's second half unfolds, the dangerous character will no doubt become a major player in the climax opposite Timothee Chalamet's Paul Atreides. Legendary chose not to comment on the Deadline story, so Butler's casting isn't officially finalized yet, but the outlet reports the actor is in negotiations. Pugh is also in negotiations, to play Princess Irulan.

It's great to see "Dune Part Two" bringing talented actors on board, as the film was one of 2021's cinematic triumphs. "Dune" was embraced by critics and audiences alike, passing the $400 million mark at the box office and earning a Best Picture nomination, plus nine more nods from the Academy.

"Dune Part Two" is set to release in theaters October 20, 2023.